Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Miami looking for perfection in midweek games this season,found nothing but imperfection offensively as the Canes were shutout in their final home game appearance. As Gino related after the game” It stinks that we had to finish on this note right here”. What is sad is that they have been doing this all season. Held to only six sporadic hits, they were only able to mount an attack in just two innings.The rest of the time they just floundered around going through the motions. The final inning summarized how demoralizing this team has become in their striking out in order, leaving a very sour taste in everyone there knowing how the season ended on such a negative note. When you consider that we beat the Owls previously 11-2 and 14-9, you have to wonder how can one team go so far south after a thrilling conclusion to the Ga. Tech series. Welcome to my world.
Gino maybe thinking beyond tonight to the Louisville series decided to go with Pitching by Committee and save everyone for the weekend final ACC series with Louisville. Only change from Sunday was Gabe replacing Lala in the starting rotation batting 8th. and Gil and Toral switched in the batting order. Otherwise everything remained the same. Alex McFarlane got the starting call and the first of 6 pitchers making an appearance tonight. Overall the pitching was not bad, but the Sleeping Giant decided to take the evening off which made the difference like it has done so many times this season.
The first was one of the two innings where the Canes actually had an opportunity to make a statement in deciding the direction they were going to take the game. Vilar’s one out single followed by DC doing likewise put Anthony in scoring position with just one out. Here was the perfect opportunity to put the Owls on notice that they were heading down the same road as the previous two contests. Instead They left an entirely different message with CDC flying out to right advancing Anthony to third. Yoyo striking out looking might just have been the turning point in the game. Miami’s failure to get on the board early and set the tone was the message sent out of what was to follow. What followed was one inept appearance at the plate after another.
It was not until the 7th, that the Canes showed any signs of life. As in the first, they had runners on the corners but this time with just one out rather than two but like the first left stranded where they stood. The ultimate insult to this night’s fiasco was striking out in order in the final home appearance at the Light. This is a team that continues to disappoint
FAU put up their first run in the third, with the entering of Anthony Arguelles replacing Alex McFarlane in what would be the first of 5 pitchers to follow. With the change in pitching, the Owls opened with a leadoff double followed up with an RBI single for the initial score. They would followed it up in the 7th with Jordan Dubberly on the mound. A lead off triple misplayed by Gabe in right going over his head set up the second run. He would reached home on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt which the batter beat out safely to first.
Spencer Bodanza came in to pitch the 8th and served a one out shot over the left center fence by BJ Murray his 14th of the year.That was the icing on the cake for the Owls as we still had nothing in the tank to respond with.
Offensively, it was a night that will sting for awhile. None of the 6 hits were for extra bases and no one tonight with multiple hits. Overall, we batted below the Mendoza Line,.194 and with RISP we were 0-5. It was not until the 8th inning that we managed to get a lead off batter to first. Three outs quickly followed. For a team that should have been riding a high coming off a very important series win they played extremely flat and leaving doubts on the direction this team is heading. Bottom line you just don’t know. Just when you think they have finally found their niche, they play like they did tonight.
Pitching, it was by Committee tonight thinking they would be able to get the job done rather than staying with Alex. For the two innings he pitched only gave up one hit, striking out 2 and walking one. When Arguelles came in to start the 3rd he had thrown 34 pitches. The pitching held until the 7th awaiting help from the offense that never came. An opening triple in the 7th and the homer in the 8th was the insurance they need to prevent us from having Perfection for the first time since 1998 when we went 8-0.
Final ACC matchup with Louisville before the Tournament starting at 6PM. The question to be asked: Which team will take to the field?